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City Lit Theater
Chicago, IL
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January 5, 2011. For immediate release.  
For more information, contact Terry McCabe or Brian Pastor.

The fourth production of City Lit Theater's thirty-first season, Ben Jonson's Volpone, will begin previews at City Lit Theater on Friday, January 21, 2011 and open for the press on Tuesday, January 25.  The production, directed by Sheldon Patinkin with music composed and directed by Kingsley Day, runs through Sunday, February 27, 2011.

Volpone is the greatest satire of the English Renaissance.  Written in five weeks and first produced by the King's Men at the Globe Theatre in 1606, the play's depiction of a pair of scoundrels who unite to fleece the gullible anticipates The Producers by four centuries.   In it, the miser Volpone and his wily servant Mosca convince a series of wealthy and corrupt men that Volpone is deathly ill and ready to name each of them as his sole heir; to guarantee the supposed inheritance, each victim of the scam showers Volpone with expensive gifts.   Director Sheldon Patinkin sets City Lit's production in the 1920s and features Jonson's songs set to new music composed by Kingsley Day.

Sheldon Patinkin is Chair Emeritus and a member of the faculty of Columbia College Chicago Theater Department, having served for 29 years as Chair.  He is artistic consultant to The Second City, where he has worked since 1960, and to Steppenwolf Theatre, where he has directed Waiting for Lefty, Death of a Salesman and Uncle Vanya.  He is an ensemble member of Gift Theatre, where he most recently directed The Lonesome West.  He was artistic director at the old National Jewish Theatre, where he received a Jeff Award for directing the Irving Berlin revue Puttin' On the Ritz.  He has also received a special Jeff for his contribution to Chicago theatre.  He helped develop the concept for the television series SCTV, for which he also wrote and produced.   His translation of Brecht's The Good Person of Setzuan was directed by Frank Galati at Goodman Theatre, and his concert staging of Leonard Bernstein's Candide was presented at Philharmonic (now Avery Fisher) Hall.  He has written two books, The Second City: Backstage at the World's Greatest Comedy Theater and No Legs, No Jokes, No Chance: A History of the American Musical Theater.  

Kingsley Day is a thrice-Jeff-nominated musical director/pianist whose credits include Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! and Always...Patsy Cline at the Apollo Theater and five revues directed by Sheldon Patinkin at National Jewish Theater, including Puttin' on the Ritz, which won the Jeff Award for Best Revue and which he reprised at Drury Lane Evergreen Park.  Last season he was music director for City Lit's Oh Boy! for which he also played the piano and the role of Judge Carter.  He has acted in a number of City Lit shows and was featured here as actor, singer, pianist, and songwriter in Christmas as We Grow Older.  Other stage credits include sixteen cameo roles as pianist/music director for Theatre Wit's Two for the Show.  He is the composer of an acclaimed score for Thespis, Gilbert and Sullivan's "lost" operetta, and co-creator with Philip LaZebnik of the multi-Jeff-winning musical Summer Stock Murder.

The cast for Volpone is Larry Baldacci, Don Bender, Ben Chang, David Fink, Laura Korn, Brian Pastor, Chris Pomeroy, Patti Roeder, Clay Sanderson, Alex Shotts, and Eric Damon Smith.

The design team includes Bill Anderson (set), Matthew Cummings (properties), Jess Harpenau (lighting) and Tom Kieffer (costumes).  Fight choreography is by David Yondorf.

Volpone performs Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 3:00 pm, through February 27.  There are also two Thursday performances, February 17 and 24 at 8:00 pm.  Press opening is Tuesday, January 25 at 7:00 PM.  Ticket prices are $18 for previews and $25 after opening.  Discounts are available for seniors, students and groups of ten or more.  Tickets can be reserved by going to or by calling (773) 293-3682.

City Lit Theater is located in the historic Edgewater Presbyterian Church building at 1020 West Bryn Mawr Avenue, one block west of Sheridan Road and a block and a half east of the Bryn Mawr Red Line L stop. The 84 Peterson bus, the 147 Lake Shore Express bus, and the 151 Sheridan bus all stop near City Lit. Valet and lot parking are available for theatre customers; calling ahead for details is recommended.  

City Lit's Volpone is the fourth of six productions comprising its 2010-2011 season.  City Lit specializes in literate theatre, including stage adaptations of literary material.   It receives funding from the Alphawood Foundation; the Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development; the City of Chicago Office of Cultural Affairs CityArts program; the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; and a passel of individual donors.  Its outreach program is funded in part by A.R.T. League.


City Lit Theater
1020 W. Bryn Mawr
Chicago, IL 60660
United States


Arts > Theatre

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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